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Why I left PC gaming (for good)
Cost I know the cost argument remains contested amongst PC and console gamers. I have no clue how this could possibly be contested. Mostly because it is entirely dependent upon what type of hardware you purchase.
However, as a married adult with a mortgage and a full-time job, I have to budget my expenses carefully.
Let’s take a look at how I much I personally have spent on PC gaming over the last 3 years.
In October 2014, I purchased a gaming PC for $1200 from iBuypower.
Core i5 4590k
GTX 760 2 GB
8 GB Ram
750W Power Supply
AS Rock Z97 Motherboard.
These parts were carefully picked out by myself and my brother, who is a very experienced gaming PC builder. He even researched all the parts and discovered that, at the time, the parts would cost $1300, plus shipping from multiple retailers, not including a copy of Windows 7 which iBuypower included for free. Note: These were not the top-of-the-line parts in October 2014, however, they were upper-mid tier and fit my budget, which was actually $1000, but I was able to squeeze a couple hundred more dollars after cutting some other expenses.
Also, I was a primarily a WoW player, therefore I had a $15/month subscription attached, along with purchasing two expansions since October 2014.
$15/month X 36 months = $540
Two Expansions @ $40 each = 80
My total cost to game on a PC since October 2014: Approximately $1920.
In September 2014, I purchased on Xbox One S for $250, with Battlefield 1, 14 days of free Xbox live, and a month of EA access.
With the purchase of my Xbox One S at $250, if I spend the approximate amount of money I spent to play ONE PC game since October 2014, I would have an approximate budget of $1600 spend on games and an Xbox Live subscription.
My current Xbox Live sub cost is $60/year. So I can budget that for 3 years and that’s $180. That’s well over $1000 to spend on games.
Xbox One S: $250
Xbox Live Sub for 3 years: $180
Total cost: $430
October 2014-October 2017 Gaming Cost/Budget: $1920
So far, I’ve got $1400 to spend on anything I want gaming related.
If I purchase the games brand new on launch day @ $60 retail, that’s approximately 22-23 games. An average of 7-8 a year. That’s a new game approximately every 6 weeks compared to what I paid to game on a PC. Not too shabby. Let’s not forget some of the free games included in your Xbox Live subscription.
Let’s take WoW out of the equation. I still spent $1200 for a gaming PC since October 2014, with the cost of my One S and 3 years of an Xbox Live Sub at a total of $430, that’s still $770 left for gaming expenses. And we are not taking into account what PC games I probably would have purchased if I was not playing WoW.
After I did all of this math, it was clear that I would get a more diverse gaming experience if I kept the same budget over the next 3 years that I did with PC gaming.
However, my plan is to NOT spend $1800 over the next 3 years on gaming. Why? My wife and I are expecting our first child in March. Anybody reading this that has kids knows where I will be spending my money… And for me, the best way to save money, play a more diverse set of games without worrying about compatibility or hardware requirements, is console gaming.
My current plan is to backtrack and purchase some older titles released on Xbox One just to get my feet wet. The only games I am planning on purchasing on launch day are EA Sports UFC 3, Madden 19, and possibly a Watch Dogs sequel.
I know what you’re going to say next: “You can spend that money you’re going to spend on the Xbox One S and Xbox Live Sub and buy a new video card!” Well at the moment, the cheapest GTX 1070 on Newegg is $409. Also, I have 8 GB of RAM, most top-end games have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. By the end of next year, I may not be able to run any games at the minimum required settings. The fact that I am unable to predict what my PC will be capable of in the very near future means the investment is risky.
FYI: Here is a rundown of other PC games I purchased/spent money on that were not mentioned in this basic budget rundown: Company of Heroes 2 Steam Bundle: $10, Heroes of the Storm microtransactions: $30, Dawn of WaDawn of War 2 Bundle: $10, Tabletop Simulator: $20, Overwatch: $40.
Complexity The research to build a gaming PC was stressful for me. I had to research the minimum/recommended specifications for all the games I played, and hoped to play in the future, and attempt to predict how my machine would handle those factors. Luckily my brother was there to help me. Furthermore, every time I purchased a gaming PC I was limited by my budget, which limited what I could purchase. It was really stressful because I was making a serious financial commitment to a machine in the hopes it would not only deliver performance, but last long enough to be a worthy investment.
That issue does not exist on a console.
With console gaming, the system you purchase will play EVERY game that ever comes out for the system. And the investment has never been higher than $500 (with the exception of the PS3 $599 launch price for the 60 GB mode). And the graphics will be enhanced as the games progress. Case in point, games purchased in 2005 for the Xbox 360 pale in comparison graphically to the games released for Xbox 360 in 2013. Those games were optimized for the Xbox 360 (or any console).
Secondly, when it is time to upgrade consoles, you simply just buy the next generation of console or in this unprecedented case, an Xbox One X.
With a PC, your hardware becomes increasingly obsolete. This is not an accident. But we will get to that later…
My personal upgrade Cycle is unknown and determined by many factors Game developers for PC may choose certain brands of hardware that are optimized best for the system. Case in point is Tomb Raider. The game was optimized for AMD graphics cards, while most people purchase Nvidia cards.
You also have to cognizant of what type of motherboard you have, power supply, RAM, processor, and graphics card you have. There are instances in which certain motherboards are incompatible with certain types of hardware, or do not have enough RAM slots, etc.
In my case, I purchased a gaming PC in May 2009, and instead of trying to upgrade that hardware, I opted to wait until my machine was completely obsolete and just purchase a brand new gaming PC. The reason why I had to wait until my PC was obsolete was twofold, I was waiting for the next WoW Expansion, Warlords of Draenor, which had updated character models and system requirements, secondly, I could not afford to purchase new hardware for my 2009 PC and hope I would not need future upgrades. It was easier for me to wait it out until I could save up enough money to buy a completely new PC.
If you were to ask anybody when you should upgrade and list out your computer’s specs, you may get totally different responses. And none of them will be accurate, as the system requirements for particular games are not released until the game is ready for release. It’s a crapshoot.
Exclusives I care about The majority of the games I enjoy are either intended for use on a console or are console exclusive.
Titles like Madden, EA Sports UFC, Need for Speed, NHL, etc, are only released on console.
Also, I enjoy the Xbox controller. Yes, you can plug in an Xbox controller into a computer, but that would cost me at least $20 since I only have wireless controllers.
One of the pillars to any argument for a particular platform or console is the amount or quality of exclusives. When it comes to exclusives, you personally must do your own research into which games are exclusive to which platform/console and decide whether or not that is valuable to you, as the consumer.
The exclusives I care about at the moment are only released on console.
Resale Value/Used Games You purchase a PC game, it is yours. Forever. Your games are only as valuable as you think they are, and they have no value to anyone else. And if you purchase them through Steam, you’re merely purchasing a license to play the game.
You purchase a physical copy of a console game, it retains value. In fact, no matter what the game is, GameStop and now even Amazon will take in the game as a trade-in. Also, you are able to sell your physical copies of any game to anyone you want, whether it be Ebay, Craigslist, Community Exchange, you name it.
Also, the used game market is quite enjoyable. There were many franchises/games I had yet to experience and was able to pick up used copies of these games rather cheaply from my local Gamestop. Case in point, I purchased Gears of War 3 for $5, Batman Arkham City for $5, and WWE 13 for $7.99 about a year ago for my 360. I didn’t realize how amazing the Batman Arkham games were, so I picked up a brand new copy of Arkham Knight for only $20.
Also, if you have a large library of games, Gamestop offers special trade-in deals that can reduce your cost of purchasing new games.
You are also able to resell your console at any Gamestop. Of course you can resell your PC, but who in the right mind will purchase a used PC? I am not an advocate of purchasing a used console, either. However, I was almost enticed to pick up a used PS3 for $60 at my local Gamestop just to try out a few exclusives. But I decided to save my money. But the option was there.
Game Optimization is standardized As an avid Raider in WoW, I had to meticulously adjust my graphical settings for raiding. Even with the gaming PC I purchased, I was unable to get 60 FPS in a raid setting with high graphics. In fact, Blizzard had to patch the settings menu to allow a Raid Setting and an Environment Setting to allow more streamlined ease of use for gamers. However, when I sit down to play a game, I just want to play it. I am in no interest of learning how to get it to perform better on my machine, I just want to play it.
There’s a peace of mind when I play a console game. I stick the game in and it will work properly. The only adjustments I make are for sound, because I have a surround sound system, but if I switch to headphones, I make the adjustment when necessary.
Since I have a 4k HDR TV, certain games optimized for HDR will detect my TV, and ask me for a brightness test. But that’s about it.
Also, I don’t really care for Mods or customization features. Many do, but I do not.
Ease of Use There is no PC that is immune to any type of software/hardware malfunction. In fact, PCs have been known for decades for crashes, viruses, software malfunctions, hardware malfunctions, etc. The gaming PC I purchased in October 2014 suffered a massive Hard Drive failure, in the middle of a raid, in January 2017. Luckily, my wife bought me a SSD a few months before, so I able to
I have been console gaming since 1989 starting with the NES. The only hardware failure I have ever experience was the “Red Rings of Death” in 2007 with my Day One Xbox 360. Guess what? Microsoft fixed the console for free due to the 3-year warranty. My Hard Drive had a one year warranty. I was SOL.
On a console, the game is going to run how it runs. But it will run. On a PC, it’s a crapshoot.
Before the 8th generation of consoles required you to install your games, the advantage was exponentially in favor of consoles. You simply put in your game and played. Now that all platforms require an installation, that point is moot. The overall advantage is for consoles. That is objectively undisputable.
Cheating PC gaming is notorious for cheating. Within the first few months of the release of Overwatch, Blizzard announced they had banned 500,000 accounts for cheating by way of aimbot or speedhacks. They later announced yet another massive ban of nearly 500,000 accounts. I personally had many experiences with aimbotters and speedhackers in OW. It ruined the experience for me and after 40 hours, decided I did not want to play in a tainted environment. This is just one game. I have yet to see any major cheating scandal involving a console game. Because consoles are built to specifically prevent any type of hardware or software modification in order to ruin the gaming experience of others. Cheating scandals in PC gaming are rampant, especially with CS: GO. I want to play video games on an even playing field. And there’s no telling how many times I was a victim of someone who easily installed a piece of software in order to ruin my gaming experience.
There was practically an entire industry developed just to combat cheating in games like Counterstrike with the advent of Punkbuster.
To sum up cheating in PC gaming, we all know the infamous saying: “OMFG WALLHAX.” If cheating in PC gaming weren’t so rampant, this meme would never exist.
Graphics are just fine for me. While I had to play raid in WoW in 60 FPS due to the stringent requirements of being a raid leader, playing games on console on a 4k HDR TV at 30 FPS feels just fine for me. As explained above, in order for me to experience enhanced graphics and framerates, my current PC would need at least $400 in upgrades. The current cost of a PS4 and Xbox One S combined. Secondly, I know when I purchase a console, as explained above, the graphics on future games will be enhanced, as opposed to declining graphics on newer games. Case in point, Call of Duty WW2. My current gaming PC exceeds the minimum requirements for the game, but not the recommended requirements. Leaving me to wonder what the game would look like on my computer. Hence I purchased it on Xbox One, where I could do a simple Youtube search to see exactly how the game would look on my machine.
If graphics were that important to me, I’d have to wager in what games I want to play that support those graphics and how much I would have to spend to upgrade my machine right away and in the future.
Xbox Live is worth the money, for me. As we discussed before, I spent double the money just to play one game online (WoW) for 3 years than I would have to spend on Xbox Live.
I know one of the pillars of the Pro-PC gaming argument is that your games are free to play online, unless of course you are an MMO gamer. Which was the situation that I was in. I’ve also heard the argument that MMOs are a fraction of the actual PC gamer playerbase.
During the peak of MMOs in 2011, there were 22.5 million subscribers to paid MMOs. It was one of the catalysts to the PC gaming surge of the mid-2000s. Also, some of the top selling games of all time on PC are MMORPGS such as WoW (and all of its expansion packs), SWTOR, Guild Wars 1 & 2, and Star Wars Galaxies. MMOs have plateaued, and most have become Freemium games (those that are listed as free to play are not “free to play,” they are free to play a portion of the game), but WoW and EVE Online remain paid subscription games. Thus the argument that “ALL PC GAMES ARE FREE TO PLAY ONLINE” is rubbish. In order to prove that point, you must add the exception of the MMO.
I have been subscribed to Xbox live since 2003, with breaks in between when I was playing WoW. One of my biggest pet-peeves when gaming online in PCs was the fact that servers could be unreliable, especially for games like Counterstike and TF2. I know a lot of PC gamers love the fact that being able to choose a server is a good thing, but one of the issues I would have is the good servers would fill up quickly, leaving me to try and find servers that were not filled to capacity or substandard.
Yes, you have to pay money for Xbox Live, but I get a good service out of it. I never have connection issues to the servers and all of the servers are filled to capacity.
Secondly, with the advent of Games with Gold, I have received some amazing video games for free with my subscription. Some of those great games include Dark Souls, multiple Assassins Creed games, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 3 and Saints Row 3 & 4. These games are retailed at $50-60 dollars each, but used would have cost me at least $10-30 each. So in fact your subscription is somewhat subsidized by this feature. Yes, some games released on Games with Gold are not great, but if you can get 4-5 games for free, it is ultimately paying for your subscription and exposing you to games you may not have thought about playing. Case in point for me was Dark Souls and Watch Dogs, which led to my purchase of Dark Souls 3 and Watch Dogs 2.
Potential I did not opt to purchase the Xbox One X for the clear reason that not all the games would be enhanced for the hardware, yet…
As this generation of consoles progressed, it was clear that the name of the game was enhancing the hardware on the current generation, as opposed to releasing a brand new console. As developers become more saavy with the One X hardware, more games will be released with One X enhancements, improving the graphical capabilities at a fraction of the cost. Like I said above, in order for me to get 4k 60 FPS on the top-end games on my current PC, I would have to purchase a top-end card, which we have shown the graphics cards prices to be horrendous at the moment. A GTX 1070 will run you at least $400 at the moment, and there is no telling how long that video card will run the next wave of games. The Xbox One X will surely run every enhanced game at 4k resolution, the framerates are still up in the air. But as history has shown, console games ALWAYS get better graphical enhancements, with the X in play, I assure you all X-enhanced games will be 4k 60 FPS, and the price of the system will ultimately drop as they always do.
When it comes to PC potential, it is all in the hands of the personal consumer. Want to purchase that mega 1070 or 1080? Go for it. How long will that card last? Who knows? We have just proven that my GTX 760 will not run max settings on top-end games. Why would I spend $400-500 on a new graphics card that might run the next wave of games at max settings when I can purchase an X next year, and it will run years of games properly, first time every time.
On a side note, I think it is good for gaming overall if the Xbox One X is able to consistently support a large catalog of games that run 4k 60 FPS. Because that would force Sony to come out with a console with similar capabilities, and then there is competition. Then that would eventually force PC hardware manufacturers like Intel and Nvidia to release hardware at cheaper prices.
We all know PCWorld tried to build an Xbox One X gaming PC, they failed to beat Microsoft and the cheapest computer they could build was $650.
Because when a big company like Microsoft produces a product, they can produce it cheaper.
Anybody with any type of education in economics knows competition in a free market breeds these benefits to consumers:
Choice – You know have more choices for similar products. Being able to choose between 3 platforms, PS4, XB1X, or PC. All three can support 4k 60 FPS.
Prices will go down – Sony and Microsoft will have to compete on pricing for similar systems, as they have in the past. If Sony and Microsoft are successful with their systems, PC hardware manufacturers may have to start producing better hardware at more competitive prices, which will benefit PC gamers. This is the main reason why every PC gamer should cheer for the Xbox One X’s success.
A new standard is set – If every company builds around the foundation of 4k 60 FPS, then all gamers benefit because they will be playing games that are graphically more superior.
Steam was a money sink and a trap Going over my steam profile, I have purchased 30 games on steam since 2007. These games include:
The Orange Box
Left For Dead
Left for Dead 2
Dawn of War 1/2
Hacker Evolution Series
Red Alert 3
Besides TF2 and Left for Dead, not one game I purchased saw more than 2 hours of game time played. Not one.
Steam is the go-to answer for any PC gamer that wishes to express their loyalty to PC gaming. I find Steam to be a money sink. First and foremost, you have to be working to earn money to purchase these games, if you’re a child with no job, a Trust Fund baby, or putting Steam games on a credit card without paying off the balance every month, you do not apply. There isn’t enough time in the day, including at least an 8-hour workday and 6-8 hours of sleep, to enjoy the amount of cheap games you are able to purchase.
Mind you, I was a WoW player, and playing WoW took up 98% of my gaming time, but that’s because there were no PC games out there at the time that I felt would be worth my time and money. Some looked good and I bought them. But I rarely played them.
Also, Steam is not just a good service for good games, it’s also an extremely good place to put absolutely shitty games. Luckily in the age of the internet and Steam user reviews, you can take your time and do your research on every purchase.
If you’re able to spend 40-50 hours a week gaming, you have the funds to purchase these games and that’s what you like to do, more power to you. But I found that I wasted hundreds of dollars on games through I just never had the inclination or time to enjoy.
The Hardware releases are a trap Not that long ago Nvidia released the GTX 1070 and 1080. They were scores of PC gaming fans drooling at the thought of what this hardware could do.
The problem is, these video cards cost at least $400 right now. And a 1080 will run you at least $600.
A lot of people hate on Microsoft, and to a lesser extent Sony, on the basis of they are gouging players of their money.
If you think Intel or Nvidia give a lovely fuck about you, you’re naïve. They’re job, like any other business, is to sell you as much hardware and possible. They are going to continue to release new hardware that is expensive and get you to pay for it. And PC game developers, instead of trying to maximize the hardware currently in play, will simply take the lazy route and optimize games for more expensive hardware, forcing the PC gamer to consume even more expensive hardware.
I almost got sucked into getting a 1070 when they first came out, however, I realized that paying $400-500 for just one component of my computer was not worth the money for me compared to what I would get out of it. Maybe it’s worth it for you, but not for me. I’m not here telling you how to spend your money.
Local Multiplayer Yes, I know with softXpand, you can do local multiplayer on a PC. However, local multiplayer has been a staple of console gaming since its inception. Consoles are built for local multiplayer and are way easier than having to install a piece of software into your computer.
With consoles, you just hand a controller to your friend or family member and enjoy the multitude of local multiplayer games.
I’ve heard arguments that from PC gamers that claim local multiplayer is “not a thing anymore.” Well, there has to be evidence in order to support that claim. And in order to prove such a notion, we would literally have to conduct a scientific study of how people behave in their homes.
With the advent of the online gaming revolution that started in the late 90s, it became easier to play games with your friends without having to go to their house.
However, any real gamer since the 1980s or 1990s remembers the days of Goldeneye 007 on N64 and how enjoyable it is to play games right next to your friends.
Some may say that there aren’t that many games that support local multiplayer.
Here is a short list of games that can be played local multiplayer on console (some may have a PC port):
All Madden Games
All NHL Games
All NBA games
All MLB Games
All FIFA games
All Fighting Games (SF, MK, Soulcalibur, Tekken)
All Mario Kart Games
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Several CoD Games
Now all of these games are AAA titles that sell millions of copies each. So the potential for serious local multiplayer on consoles is there.
Console does local multiplayer the best. There is no argument against that. With the birth of my son on the horizon, I am looking forward to sharing my passion for gaming WITH him, in the same room, without much effort.
The Xbox One S was the easiest solution as the centerpiece of my entertainment center. Getting my PC to be the centerpiece of my entertainment center was more complicated. This past summer, I purchased new furniture for my living room, as well as an entertainment center and my first 4k UHD HDR TV. Now the TV is a smart TV, however, the processor and software are unreliable.
The plan for the entertainment center was to complete my cord-cutting endeavor as well as having support for 4k Blu rays and 4k streaming services. We also wanted to make sure we had access to all streaming services such as UFC Fight Pass, Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO. I also wanted to finally game on a console on a big screen again, as our previous TV was only 47 inches and was not 4k.
After a quick Amazon search, I discovered that 4k UHD Blu Ray players were anywhere from $120-200.
A Fire Stick or compatible streaming media device that offers 4k is around $50.
That meant I would be spending around $200 just for streaming and 4k UHD Blu Ray
Now I know what you are all going to say, “You can just hook up your PC to your TV.”
There are a few pitfalls to that logic. In order to get what I need out of my PC that my Xbox One S can do, I’d need a 4K UHD Blu Ray drive, which at Newegg.com is anywhere form $120-200 at the moment.
Also, my GTX 760 only has one HDMI port. Which would mean I would either need a converter, or purchase a new graphics card that had two HDMI ports. NOTE: I need two HDMI ports to plug my Surround Sound receiver into the device that will be streaming my media, and another HDMI to send to the TV.
Clearly the best bang for my buck was an Xbox One S. Not only did I get a gaming machine with native 4k resolution and HDR color, I also got a UHD Blu ray player and a streaming media box. All for $250. Now, the Xbox One S is selling for $189. I even convinced a friend to purchase and Xbox One S during Black Friday (For $189) just for the streaming services and 4k Blu Ray player. He doesn’t even play video games. But he was delighted to see how much money he would be saving to add this important entertainment device to his 4k TV.
If you are in the market for a UHD Blu Ray player and a 4k streaming media box for your new 4K television, the Xbox One S is the way to go. AND, you can play great games on it.
Now I know after hearing all of this, if you are a PC gamer, you may be feeling angry. The one thing I never respected about the PC gaming culture (or the Master Race, as you have wonderfully embraced the most hideous regime in world history), was the vehement defense of your choice.
Here is why you are all so angry at console and console gamers:
You are incessantly trying to avoid buyer’s remorse.
You know you are spending a plethora of money on your machines. As well as high-end mechanical keyboards and precision mice, along with top-end monitors. And in order to justify that, those that do not do what you do, must be peasants.
You might say that this article is intended defend my decision to leave PC gaming, in a manner that can be construed as buyer’s remorse. That is not the case. I am not remorseful for my decision to game on PC’s since 2008. I enjoyed playing WoW and a few other games during this time. However, as my life changed, my budget changed, as did my needs and wants. And currently, the console gaming platform suits my needs, wants, budget, and lifestyle.
I would have buyer’s remorse if I continued with the unnecessary spending, stress, and hassle of continuing with PC gamer.
A very happy Former PC Gamer and current Console Legend
submitted by marcusblood